Floyd's death, after an officer who has now been charged with second-degree murder knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has triggered a US-wide debate on the future of law enforcement.
Both Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Trump, a Republican, say they oppose defunding the police, although they have sharply different views on what the future of policing in the US should look like.
Hundreds of mourners wearing masks against the coronavirus packed a Houston church a little more than two weeks after Floyd was pinned to the pavement by a white Minneapolis police officer who put a knee on his neck for what prosecutors said was 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
“Third Ward, Cuney Homes, that’s where he was born at,” Floyd’s brother, Rodney, told mourners at the Fountain of Praise church. “But everybody is going to remember him around the world. He is going to change the world.”
The funeral capped six days of mourning for Floyd in three cities.
Following the service, Floyd’s body was to be taken by horse-drawn carriage to a cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he was to be laid to rest next to his mother.
“George Floyd was not expendable. This is why we’re here,” Democratic Rep. Al Green of Houston told the crowd. “His crime was that he was born black. That was his only crime. George Floyd deserved the dignity and respect that we accord all people just because they are children of a common God.”
While the service was private, at least 50 people gathered outside to pay their respects. Some held signs with messages including “Black Lives Matter” and “Together because of George Floyd.”
“There’s a real big change going on, and everybody, especially black, right now should be a part of that,” said Kersey Biagase, who traveled more than three hours from Port Barre, Louisiana, with his girlfriend, Brandi Pickney. They wore T-shirts printed with Floyd’s name and “I Can’t Breathe.”
Dozens of Floyd’s family members, most dressed in white, were led into the sanctuary by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist.
The mourners also included rapper Trae tha Truth, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who brought the crowd to its feet when he announced he will sign an executive order banning chokeholds in the city.